Newsletter – October 2021

positive sustainable stories

Having spent the last week scrambling for bits and pieces to make very specific Hallowe’en costumes, I’m left wondering, where are all the second-hand costumes?

Apparently we spend about €14 million on Halloween costumes in Ireland every year, but where do they go? My local charity shop told me that they sold out the first week in October, adding that they could have sold 10 times more.

Are people stockpiling it for future years? Or (God forbid) are they putting last year’s costumes in the bin?

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I have to admit to being guilty of holding onto things, just in case. It’s a hard habit to break, especially if you like to limit purchases to second-life goods, which aren’t always easy to come by. I’m getting better, but this experience puts me off letting go of any dress-up items, which I appreciate is counterproductive to the bigger picture of reduced consumption!

Before we get underway with this month’s positive planetary news, let me just say that if you’ve a long blonde wig that you’re willing to lend or sell me, I’ll be your friend for life!

Irish cafe Foam in Bundoran is turning milk bottle into recycled handplanes for surfing

For all those candles lovers out there, be sure to choose toxin-free versions this Autumn

A very accessible explanation of the state of play in Ireland with regard to climate change

Research is indicating that recycled plastic could be a health hazard!

Experts warn of high levels of chemicals in clothes by some fast-fashion retailers

How agri-subsidies encourage farmers to cut back on nature in Ireland

A vegan cheese said to behave just like dairy cheese

Zalando trials repair service in two German cities

How to know if a tree planting scheme is legit

A list of pumpkin patches to visit in Ireland

Almost one-third (30%) of Europe’s largest listed companies now pledging to reach net-zero by 2050

Birmingham transform into low-traffic neighbourhood with zero-emissions cross-city buses, cycle ways and pedestrian lanes.

UAE has become the first petro-state to commit to net zero by 2050.

China’s most populous province and one of its most industrialized, has banned the construction of coal plants in the Pearl River Delta and has begun construction on 100GW of wind and solar in its western desert, which is more than the entire existing wind and solar capacity of India. They’ve also pledged US$230 million to support conservation in developing countries

Mongolia is going to spend around 1% of its GDP to plant a billion trees by 2030

Refugees in Cameroon have planted 360,000 trees around the Minawao Refugee Camp

Consumption of wildlife has dropped by almost 30% across China, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and the USA due to shifting cultural tastes and concerns about COVID-19.

A vast area of the Atlantic Ocean off the south west coast of Ireland is to be designated as a marine protected area in an international effort to protect 5 million seabirds across 22 different species.

Repair educators Ifixit discover that even though the IPhone 13 is modular and easy to open, it contains software that rejects new parts. Shocking!

The campaign Ten Year Phone wants to change that and push for, yes you’ve guessed it, a ten year smartphone

The 20 countries most responsible for climate change

From Jan 2022 France will ban plastic packaging on fruit and vegetables and Spain will do likewise from 2023

Meat consumption in the UK drops by 17% over a decade

Cork studies estimates that the global electricity needs could be served with solar panels on half the world’s roofs 

New platform for craft orientated experienced launches in Ireland

Dedicated tree officer starts in Cork County Council

Google launches new ‘eco-certified’ badge for hotels

In Austria and the German state of Thuringia, people can now be partially reimbursed when repairing a product thanks to a repair bonus

Shanghai’s new eco Starbucks only has reusable cups, is fitted from recycled materials, uses paper receipts and water and energy saving systems

Artist created Mount Rushmore sculpture out of e-waste ahead of G7 summit 

Microsoft launches a mouse recycling scheme for it’s own-branded products 

Danish foodwaste app, Togoodtogo, sets up shop in Ireland

Last week, Xi Jinping announced that China will not finance or build new coal-fired power projects abroad

No new coal plants to be built in Colombia as it switches focus to solar, wind and hydro generation

80% of the 715 million tons of carbon dioxide that was released during Australia’s mega wildfires of 2019/2020 has already been sucked out of the atmosphere by giant ocean algal blooms seeded by the nutrient-rich ash.

Half a million acres of Scottish Highlandswill be rewilded over the next 30 years thanks to a community led project known as the Affric Highlands

The intentional killing of sharks and the release of balloons that threaten marine life have been banned in Hawaii

The EU has voted to phase out the use of animals in laboratory experiments, calling for systemic changes to scientific research methods

Have you got a community project that needs funding? Change X and Accenture have launched a new Sustainability Challenge with funding of €35,000 for community leaders with creative and impactful grassroots solutions

Till next week, in the meantime find me on Facebook or Instagram and if you want to read previous newsletter, just click the link.


Published by Elaine Butler

I am a circular design consultant helping manfacturers prepare for the circular economy

4 thoughts on “Newsletter – October 2021

  1. 90% of the fun of dressing up is improvising a costume from random gear!
    For the last Halloween party that I attended (2 years ago) I borrowed a wig from a friend, went to a charity shop to pick up 70’s clothes, added a paintbrush and pallet and Hey Presto! I was TV painting instructor, Bob Ross!


    1. What a great idea. Love it. Unfortunately my kids pick very obscure costume ideas, which doesn’t make it easy. Son is Orbulon this year (yes, no one else has heard of it either).


  2. PS: the Formo cheese looks good. LMK if you find it in stores!
    Tomorrow on Ethical Bargains ( I’ll post on a vegan ice cream that’s made with milk proteins that are produced in a fungus. These milk proteins are made by a Berkeley company called Perfect Day, using an approach similar to Formo’s.


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